ASHLEY MARIE ISSUE 5 | FALL 2021
FAV WORKOUT STUFF | PUMPKIN SPICE RECIPES | FALL DECOR | FALL STYLE | FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Click icons to shop Ranger's 1st denim
Welcome to the 2021 Fall Edition of Ashley Marie.
Fall is here and I absolutely love this season! There’s just something about the cool weather, changing colors and getting cozy in layers. Dress me up in a beanie, flannel and combat boots, sit me next to a blazing and crackling fire and hand me a warm beverage and I’m one happy camper.
Inside, you will find health and fitness tips, pumpkin spice recipes, Halloween inspiration, Fall trends, self love strategies and much much more. I also linked a lot of my favorite products you can click and shop. Just hover over a lot of the products and you will be re-directed.
The point of this digital magazine is to inspire you throughout the seasons. To live life on purpose through personal expression, creating your safe space and making a commitment to your health and happiness. If there’s anything I hope you walk away from reading Ashley Marie, it’s to be grateful everyday for this life we’re given, to enjoy all moments small and big and to chase those things in life that make you effortlessly happy.
Enjoy loves <3
8 FALL INTO FITNESS 5 FITNESS TIPS
10 FAV WORKOUT STUFF
12 WORK WITH ME + CLIENT FEATURES
14 TTC PROGRAM LAUNCH
16 NEW GOALS NEW VIBES
18 LIFE CHANGING "YOU" TIME
22 PUMPKIN SPICE RECIPES
26 HALLOWEEN RECIPES
28 COSTUMES AND SPOOKY DECOR
30 BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS
32 FALL DECOR IDEAS
36 COZY VIBES
38 FALL FAMILY ACTIVITIES
40 FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR FAMILY
44 BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
48 GAME NIGHT IDEAS
50 FALL FASHION
52 INFANT FALL STYLING
54 FALL NAILS, HATS, SELF CARE
58 TRAVELING WITH A BABY TIPS AND TRICKS
60 TIPS FOR 1ST TRIP WITHOUT A BABY
5 FITNESS REVELATIONS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE When starting my fitness journey, I was so focused and obsessed with how I looked, only to realize physical progress was just a bonus. What's more important is being healthy from the inside, out. So, if you are chasing some goals or want to create a healthy lifestyle, keep reading because I have some gems to share with you.
Healthy looks different on EVERYONE Create healthy habits, not restrictions. Eat for health and life longevity. Make sure you're getting enough calories for optimal function and working out for a healthy heart. Don't deprive and don't overtrain. Find your balance.
You don't have to be extreme, just be consistent Set clear goals that are sustainable! Make small changes that you can achieve and build on. Be realistic about your goals, not drastic!
Seek progress, not perfection Celebrate those small wins and always be a work in progress. Stop obsessing over being exactly like someone else or trapping yourself in the comparison game. It's not worth it. What is worth it is being the best you can be and making positive choices for your body and your goals.
Do what makes you happy If you chase something not aligned with your interests; it will feel like a chore. Eat your kind of healthy meals! You don't just have to eat chicken, broccoli, and rice. Do you like Taco Tuesdays? Make some healthier tacos with shells like Siete brand, lean ground beef, lots of veggies and with avocado and salsa . Do your kind of workouts! You don't have to live on the cardio machine or hold yourself to one style of training. Find a system that is doable and enjoyable for you.
Don't miss out on life just because you're eating right/working out for a specific reason or goal Restricting yourself can sometimes backfire. Everything in moderation. Health and fitness should elevate your life, not bring you down or hold you prisoner. Strive to live the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time focus on foods nutritious in value for you, 20% fun to satisfy those cravings or to save for special occasions.
I WISH I would've been more aware of these points when I was younger, but you live, and you learn. With age, experience, and wisdom, you start to reflect on what truly matters in life. I hope these help you along your journey.
Fav Must Have Workout Stuff
Hanes Crew Socks
1/2 Gallon Jug With Motivating Targets
Nike Air Zoom SuperReps made for the burpee
Resistance Bands Bundles
Non slip socks
Workout Gloves Use Code "Leggday" At Checkout
Click the photos to shop!
All my go tos
Booty Band So Much Resistance
BOSU Balance Trainer
Amazon Workout Set I have In So Many Colors Under $30
The Only Way I Can Drink A Gallon
You know what motivates me? New workout clothes & fitness goodies. That’s why I love Thefitboxx.com which is a monthly fitness subscription box with the:
HOTTEST APPARELL GEAR SUPPLEMENTS AND MORE DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR + ALWAYS FREE SHIPPING You can also get 10% off using my code “leggday” at checkout! You must order by the 10th of every month, boxes ship around the 15th. Enjoy!
LEGG DAY FITNESS In 2017 I left my career as a News Reporter to start my own business, Legg Day Fitness. I’m a personal trainer and nutrition specialist. I have a passion for helping people create their version of a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and free from deprivation and over training.
I truly believe how we treat our mind and body has a vital impact on our overall health and happiness. Let’s start with eating habits. I don’t believe in any magic diet plans, pills or quick fixes to earn fast results. I believe in fueling the body for optimal health and function. A balanced meal in my program centers around a lean protein source, a healthy carb, fat source and micronutrients which come from our fruits and vegetables. Balancing those meals with plenty of water intake and movement is a great recipe for success!
Moving onto fitness. In my opinion, all movement is beneficial. Whether that’s walking, swimming, pilates, yoga, high intensity interval training, etc. Movement is medicine. There are so many benefits from increased mobility, reduced aches and pains, for stress relief, heart health, endorphins and so much more.
Check out some of my client testimonials below. This is why I do what I do. I love guiding people to feel great inside and out. To feel confident, energized, comfortable in their skin. I thrive off watching people succeed.
“Working with Ashley for 3 months has been amazing. Her 1:1 accountability program was exactly what I needed to gain self-confidence with my eating habits and movement. I never felt restricted and we didn’t cut anything out, which I’ve experienced in the past with other people I have worked with. Ashley was great at listening to my needs and addressing them appropriately. She was there for me every step of the way, educating, motivating, and challenging me. One of the biggest challenges for me was how to balance eating out and my goals. This is something that I had so much anxiety about in the past and could never get right. She really helped me release that anxiety and find a balance between my home life and social life while still achieving my goals. As a result of working with Ashley, I have been feeling so much more energetic, confident, and happy!! Thank you, Ashley!!
“I have been working with Ashley for 2 months on a meal plan program and I have had the best experience!! Not only have I lost 6lbs but you can see visual change in my body. She helped me navigate vacation, birthdays, bbq all while eating balanced meals and still lose weight. I feel confident in continuing my weight loss and healthy eating journey. Thank you Ashley for answering my many many many questions and giving me the tools I need to make good decisions to fuel my body!”
WORK Are you ready to stop making excuses? To finally put yourself first? It’s time to make yourself proud. To feel your best, look your best, and feel confident inside and out. You are 100% worth it.
WITH ME You are your biggest commitment so it’s time to start showing yourself some serious love.
Did you know it takes more energy to do nothing and be constantly unhappy than it does to make a positive change for yourself? All you need is a plan, action, accountability, and time. Time is so precious, and it’s something we can never get back. So stop waiting for the perfect time, and let's create positive change together. Change that will provide you structure in crushing your mental and physical goals. In my programs, I offer guidance to create your version of a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable. Plus, I hold you accountable every step of the way, offer daily motivation and support. If you’re ready to make a serious commitment to yourself, learn healthy tools that you’ll have for life, and finally say no to excuses, I encourage you to apply for my 1:1 Eating Accountability & Fitness Programs. I’d love to hop on a call with you to see if we’re a good fit.
Click here to see more testimonials!
Pre-Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Postpartum I also work with women trying to conceive, who are currently pregnant and newly postpartum.
“I started training with Ashley in January, which was at the end of my pregnancy. She was great at understanding the balance between modifying for my then-current state and still pushing me to bounce back quickly after the baby was born. Then once my doctor gave me the green light, she has been pushing me hard every session ever since. I dread/look forward to her workouts because I know I’m going to get a butt whooping and be exhausted afterward… and she never disappoints! She is honestly the best trainer I have ever worked with!!
But it hasn’t just been training, as she’s been helping me on my nutrition journey for the last several months, and it’s also been a great experience. She is always available for questions, holds me accountable when I’m sliding too much, and then helps get me back on track. She is also always there with the positive reinforcement which is much needed sometimes. With her guidance and support I’ve lost over 20 lbs and counting!”
New Trying To Conceive (TTC) Program This program is for:
Women who want to conceive soon Those who have had fertility challenges in the past and would like to prime their bodies for conception Women who don’t have fertility challenges but would like to optimize their health in preparation Those planning for their first child Those planning for child #2, #3, #4 & so on
IT'S TIME TO STOP STRESSING EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY AND START BEING PROACTIVE WITH YOUR HEALTH IN ORDER TO CONTINUE YOUR TTC JOURNEY.
Here’s what you get: Strategies to create your pregnancy plan Top 12 tips to creating your pregnancy roadmap Trying to conceive guide to nutrition Example meal plan Ovulation tips Activity tips + 12 weeks worth of workouts Self-care strategies to improve mental health & reduce Confidence that you are doing everything possible in your control to get pregnant
I help the incredibly courageous woman who’s trying to get pregnant, create a self-care plan so they can do everything possible in their control, mentally & physically, to conceive without feeling lost, scared, or alone. I can help you go into this journey with accountability, guidance, and support while trying to enter into one of the most rewarding stages of your life, motherhood.
BUY NOW Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram as well. I interact with a lot of you there offering free tips and tricks for all things health and fitness, healthy eating, pregnancy and more.
Season Vibe Goals
Set new goals
Setting new goals ignites a fire in you to fight for something. Plus, new goals help trigger new behaviors, positive ones. When you have goals, you have focus, which drives momentum you can sustain over time. If you work hard enough, you will earn your reward.
Create priority lists
Lists promote productivity. I personally like to separate my must-dos, other tasks, and goals. That way, I know what has to get done daily, what I want to get done, and what goals I’m working towards. Lists help you stay organized and task/goal-oriented.
Seek festive adventures
I love having something to look forward to. Whether it’s counting down until a big trip, or planning mini-adventures like going apple picking, riding a tractor through a pumpkin patch, and/or chasing the fall leaves. Fun, festive things give you something to look forward to while enjoying the seasons simultaneously.
Cook with the seasons
As soon as Fall hits, your girl turns basic. Pumpkin anything, please. In general, though, I love cooking with the seasons with the freshest produce. In the fall, I love warm soups and crockpot recipes. Anything that offers a little bit of warmth and comfort. I also enjoy creating healthier versions of my favorite recipes. Pinterest is my go-to resource for inspo or sharing recipes with like-minded people.
Give your space a refresh
Nothing feels better than a clean space. I truly believe that when your environment is organized, your stress levels are reduced. We have a cleaning lady come 1x per month for a deep clean, then do our best to keep our home as tidy as possible in between, vacuuming and dusting often and reducing clutter. Plus, I love adding seasonal decorations, like pillows, scented candles, throw blankets. Decorating/cleaning with the seasons is a great way to keep things fresh and exciting.
Season your closet
As summer comes to an end, I always like to get my clothes storage bins from the attic to switch out my summer/spring stuff for all the cozy vibes, sweaters, jackets, and high boots for fall/winter. Of course, I keep some transitional pieces out, but for the most part, updating my closet for the seasons makes me so excited to experiment with my fashion and wear some of my favorite trends. During this time, I will put aside any clothing, jewelry, bags I don’t wear and start a pile to donate. It feels good to purge to prevent overcrowding and to give back to the less fortunate.
Creating a morning routine This has been a game changer for me. I try to keep it simple to avoid adding pressure to myself with more on my plate. However, I realized carving out time to express daily gratitude has helped me become a happier person overall and keeps me in the present moment. When you recognize what you’re thankful for on a day-to-day basis, you learn to appreciate the small and big things life has to offer, rather than focusing on what you don’t have. I encourage you to write down 3 things you are grateful for every single day. I love having a prompt journal. My favorite is The 5 Minute Journal.
Listening to music
Stretching and deep breathing
Music in my opinion is a type of therapy. Music is there for you to celebrate the special moments in your life, to mourn the hard ones, to help you through life experiences, to just put you in a good mood. For me, so many emotions come up when I’m listening to music. I love putting on music when I’m expressing daily gratitude. Usually in the mornings, it’s something soft and romantic like Norah Jones. I also love listening to autumn jazz on iTunes.
Most of my life I neglected stretching, even in my high performance athletic days when I would train for 1-2 hours a day. In this stage of my life, I don’t neglect it. Especially with pregnancy, my body often felt stiff and achy. Stretching for 5 minutes in the morning helps me start my day off on a good start. I try to hold each pose for 2030seconds, focusing on deep breathing which helps promote relaxation. Check out these 5 poses I did when trying to conceive Ranger. I feel like they relaxed me and have continued them on and off since.
Scheduling down time
Even if it’s just around the block. I enjoy moving my body, putting in my headphones and just zoning out to music or an educational podcast. You basically tackle two things at once, exercising the body and the mind. A quick walk can be just what you need for a mental clarity boost. My top podcasts to listen to are: RISE Podcast with Rachel Hollis, The Gary Vee Audio Experience and Real AF with Andy Frisella.
After a busy work day, one of my favorite things to do is make dinner with my hubby and pick up where we left on a show we’re watching or turn on a good movie. It’s the best way I can turn off work mode and to wind down before bed. Plus it’s our time with each other when Ranger goes down for bed. Some of our favorite binge worthy shows throughout our relationship have been: Prison Break, Friday Night Lights, Stranger Things, Quantico, Iron Fist, Jennifer Jones, Luke Cage, The Black List, How to get away with Murder, Ozark, You, New Girl. The list goes on and on. Can you tell we like our TV?
The cutest bumpkin
Pumpkin obsessed... I may be on the basic pumpkin train, but these healthy pumpkin recipes are far from basic. They're delicious, convenient, nutrient packed and all easy to make. Standout recipes in my book every Fall. So, here you go! Make them, enjoy, share and eat! Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Makes 4 servings
Servings 6-8 pieces Ingredients:
Protein with chicken: 35 grams Protein without chicken: 13 grams
Calories per serving: 421 Carbs: 43 grams Fat: 15.1 grams
½ canned pumpkin puree 2 eggs 1/2 cup almond butter ¼ cup maple syrup 1 mashed banana (1/3 cup) 1/2 cup coconut flour 1 heaping tbsp pumpkin spice (or you can make your own 4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp clove, 1 tsp nutmeg) 1 tsp baking powder ¼ cup pecan pieces 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
1 package Banza penne or any style noodle of choice 16 ounces chicken, can void if Vegetarian, there’s plenty of protein in Banza pasta made from chickpeas 1 tbsp minced garlic 1 can pumpkin puree 1 can light coconut milk 1 cup chopped kale 1 tbsp butter, I used Earth Balance Vegan butter 1 tsp Paprika 1 tsp salt Sage leaves for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. In a medium mixing bowl combine all the wet ingredients – pumpkin puree, eggs, almond butter, maple syrup, and mashed bananas. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until completely combined. Gently mix in pumpkin seeds and pecans (optional) Pour batter into prepared pan and top more pumpkin seeds and pecans. Bake for 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean.
Make your pasta first following the directions on the package, drain and set aside In a large saucepan on the stovetop on medium heat, melt your butter and add your garlic, saute until brownish Next add your kale and cook until softish Then add your pumpkin, coconut milk, salt, paprika and stir together Simmer for around 10 minutes or until sauce thickens Then add your pasta and chicken to the sauce and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or so or until your desired sauce consistency Split into 4 servings and garnish with sage leaves
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before gently removing the loaf from the pan by lifting the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool.
Slice it and Enjoy!
“Healthy” Pumpkin Spice Latte Makes 1 serving
Ingredients: 8-10 oz brewed coffee, I just brew a cup with my Keurig 1/2 cup almond milk
Directions: Mix all ingredients, besides the whipped cream, together using a spoon, whisker, or high powered blender
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
Top it off with whipped cream if desired
1 tbsp maple syrup
Sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice A couple sprays of whipped cream on top + more pumpkin pie spice shakes on top of whipped cream if desired
Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub This is the perfect remedy to keep that skin soft and moisturized during the cold weather season. This homemade sugar scrub smells heavenly and everyone I’ve made it for absolutely loves it. Credit: Ohmy-creative.com
Makes 12 pumpkin balls
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Store in fridge to chill for an hour, which makes the batter easier to roll
3/4 cup creamy nut butter, almond or peanut
1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats 1/2 cup flax seeds 3 tbsp honey 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients in a bowl
Roll the mixture into 12 bite sized balls Place in covered container and chill again, then indulge
Spooky Recipes I got your back... Holiday eating can be HARD. There's temptation everywhere! That's why I wanted to share two Halloween-themed snacks you can bring to your next party. Festive fun treats that don't break the calorie bank.
Makes 8 Such an easy project for the kiddos or adds some spooky decor to your snack table Could pair with a dessert hummus or light cool whip on the side
Ingredients: 4 bananas 16 chocolate chips 8 dried cranberries
Directions: Peel bananas and cut in half Position chocolate morsels for the eyes Position dried cranberries for the mouth Stand them up on the cut side
Spooky Hummus Tray Ingredients: Orange bell pepper Hummus Carrots Cucumbers
Directions: Cut out pepper to look like a Jack-O-Lantern Display hummus to make the pumpkin pepper appear to be puking Slice your cucumbers for dipping Add your carrots and any other veggies of choice
Creepy Popcorn Hands Another fun project for those kiddos
Ingredients: BPA free plastic gloves Large popcorn bag, I love Skinny Pop Spider rings Candy corn
Directions: Place a piece of candy corn in each fingertip of the glove, to appear as the fingernail Fill glove with popcorn Add a spider ring to one or a few of the fingers s phew my ne e r a cute How
Ethan e & Shan
SPOOKY RECIPES Frankenstein Guacamole Ingredients: Container of fresh guac (you can make your own with 4 avocados, cilantro, lime and salt then mash with a fork) A few pretzels 3 black olives 2 small dabs of Greek yogurt Blue tortilla chips, can serve with fresh veggies too
Directions: Spread guac on a platter in the shape of a rectangle Spread chips on one end for the top of the head Decorate your face I used two dabs of Greek yogurt for eyes, black olives for eyeballs, and pretzels for the mouth and forehead scar
Scary Spice Deviled Eggs Ingredients: 6 eggs 2 tbsp mayo or full-fat coconut milk 2 tsp Thai Curry paste 2 teaspoon ketchup Few shakes of paprika 1/2 tsp spicy mustard Quick squirt of sriracha Couple shakes of salt Green onion stalk
Directions: Boil water on high until you see bubbles Then add 6 whole eggs, turn down heat to medium and boil for 12 minutes Drain hot water then add cold water to eggs and let sit for 5 minutes Peel eggs from shell, then slice length wise and move yolk to separate bowl Add all other ingredients to that bowl and mix until texture is paste-like Scoop mixture into egg cups or add mixture to zip lock bag and pipe it out Cut green onion for stems and add to each deviled egg
PLAYING DRESS UP
We looked on YouTube for a makeup tutorial, followed along, ordered a few accessories online and wore black and white, so easy
When we were expecting Baby Legg last year, Ranger and I were the moon and Ryan, our Astronaut. Surprisingly Ryan had this matching set, we ordered a helmet/flag, found my moon shirt, and Amazon primed my accessories from the wig to the face jewels.
Favorite doggy costumes:
The year we dressed Cowboy Buck and Dixie up as ninja turtles
Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler & the TRex from Jurassic Park
Totally improvised with the outfits, just whatever we could find in our closets. The only thing we bought was the T-Rex balloon
cts u d o e pr h t k op! h Clic s to
I’m all for a good theme, so when Halloween rolls around year after year, you better believe it’s on. From dressing up to decorating the home, the spooky vibe is real. I recommend choosing a color palette and sticking with it when it comes to mixing in Halloween decor. This year I’ll be adding black and red to the mix. To prevent tacky decorating, make simple adjustments. Add some accent pillows, change your throw blanket, add festive candles, and pops of color depending on your palette. Shop some of these items to help you set the tone.
Back to School Lunch Ideas Call me crazy but I can’t wait to start packing my kid’s lunches. I’m going to be that theme food packer. I’m sure Ranger will appreciate it in the beginning but then will be embarrassed when his sandwich is monster themed and he’s too cool for that. I got some time until then, to get my food lovers fix on. In the meantime, a mom can dream. How cute is this healthy halloween inspired school lunch?! Gives me all the spooky healthy vibes.
Credit: Pickledplum Fall themed lunch with pumpkin shaped PB&J’s, Fall leaves shaped apple slices, carrots, cheese stick with a special message and a piece of dove chocolate
I have to share some of my sister-in-law Sarah's ideas as well. Her sons, my nephews, Shane & Ethan, are eight and five. She is a doctor and has so many great food/health ideas on her Instagram page: @simplydrsarah Lunchable pack with pepperoni, cheese, crackers, vegetables, fruit snacks Waffle sun butter sandwiches with fruit, yogurt, animal crackers Turkey and cheese pinwheels with pineapple, peppers with ranch,veggie straws Bagel with cream cheese, salami, grapes, sugar snaps
Love lunch with pita and sunbutter sandwich, cucumbers, strawberries, heart shortbread cookies and a sugar lip
Introducing solids: At 21-weeks-old, we started introducing solids. Ranger was ready. He was longingly looking at our food and was already doing the swallowing motions on his own. A week before we started, we had him hold and play with his spoon often. We were actually amazed about how natural he was with it. We also figured out the best way to hand it to him was by the base, the spoon part facing away from him and he would rotate it on his own to fit the spoon part in his mouth. It was so cute. He and I both love this tiny spoon. It’s 100% BPA free. It has a narrow spoon bowl which fits perfectly in his mouth. It’s soft silicone based which is gentle on his gums. There’s an arch which helps develop lip closure. The short and round handle helps with grip and helps develop his motor skills. Plus dishwasher safe! All wins! We are doing a mix of purees and baby led weaning. Our goal is to introduce/add a new food item every 3 days. Starting with oatmeal. Then sweet potatoes, avocado, salmon, etc. So excited for this journey. While everyone has their own method, our focus is choosing a variety of foods that our family can eat together. While it’s easy to put so much pressure on ourselves to follow a rigorous system and to be perfect, I want to take out that stress and have fun watching Ranger explore his palette. The resources we’ve been looking into are solidstarts.com and www.feedinglittles.com plus following the advice of our pediatrician. We also took a Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED Course Online with the American Red Cross. The course is $35. The online course does not mean OSHA requirements for workplace certification. That requires in person certificates of completion. Red Cross does offers interactive classes. The course just gave us more education and confidence that we could respond to an emergency situation. Every milestone with Ranger has been fascinating. It’s like experiencing life all over again for the first time through eyes. What a beautiful journey parenthood is! Overwhelming, yet rewarding. I like to call it blissful chaos.
Starting solids favorites to shop
Stokke High Chair
Cushion for Baby Seat
cts u d o r ep h t k c i Cl p! o h s o t
Fall Decor Ideas
White Pumpkins Decor Bundle Wheat Stacks
Vases Spice up your home!
Rust Throw Blanket
Fall Dining Decor White Wine Glasses
Red Wine Glasses
Orange Table Runner Dinner Napkins
Click icon to shop my docs
Seamless Underwear Barefoot Dreams Socks
Silk Eye Mask + Neck Pillow
Barefoot Dreams Blanket
Soft Throw Blanket
Black Stars Slip
Black Stars Robe
FALL DATES Fall has a special place in my heart. It’s so beautiful, romantic, a symbolism of change with falling leaves just like that saying, “turn over a new leaf.” It’s a fresh new start. The air gets chilly, you want to cuddle more, walk hand-in-hand in flannels with the ones you love and warm ourselves next to a toasty fire.
SO GRAB YOUR LOVED ONES AND HEAD ON ONE OF THE FESTIVE DATES BELOW: Apple picking in an orchard Movie marathon snuggled in blankets Go on a scenic drive amidst the fall foliage Get lost in a corn maze Go pumpkin picking Go on a hayride Track down some warm cider donuts Go on a fall hike Bake a seasonal pie Make some pumpkin spice goodies Have a bonfire with friends Go camping Watch Hocus Pocus or any nostalgic movie that puts you in the season’s mood Go to a football game
MONEY For most of my life money has been a scary topic. I would work hard for it for so long then spend it so fast. With age, wisdom, experience, and intentional action, my husband and I have learned to become world-class savers. We really started to take control of our savings journey in 2017 when we started trying to conceive. We were having infertility issues and wanted to be prepared if we had to move forward with expensive treatments like IVF which was going to be $40K+ out of pocket. That’s when we were referred to our current financial coach, Jeffry Weldon. He helped us take control of our life insurance policies, guided us to optimal places to invest our money, and ensure we have secure savings, expendable cash, and so on. It has been such a relief and honestly exciting to see how our relationship with money has evolved over time. Just like anything, it’s all about that mindset. I’m happy to introduce you to our financial coach below as he writes about life and money being fun and rewarding.
Coach Weldon’s Corner 8/6/2021 Jeffry J. Weldon, J.D. Carolyn D. Weldon What is your relationship to money? What does it mean to create a fun life? From a financial perspective, since this article is being written by financial coaches, you might think that if you had a lot of money, you would be happy. We assert that money cannot make you happy. This is a common expression in our culture. Studies have shown that happiness and mental health for people who won at least $100,000 in the lottery did not change significantly upon winning the money. There are even stories about people that have a lot of money who are miserable. Take for example Elvis, Robin Williams, or even Howard Hughes. People are so focused on earning it, investing it, managing it, and getting it to grow. Yet it cannot make us happy, so why engage in this behavior? Can you understand what it is to be stuck in a destructive cycle of always wanting more? The cycle starts with the need to survive. We have our basic needs of food, water, and shelter. We also want to be liked and loved and strive for the approval of others. Yet people are still stressed financially. One-third of Americans (34%) say they feel somewhat anxious about their financial situation, and 17% report feeling very anxious, according to a new survey by NextAdvisor Magazine undertaken in June of 2021. When asked a similar question in June 2020, they got nearly identical results: 36% were somewhat anxious, and 15% felt very anxious.
So, this is where the “I want” comes into the picture. Human wants to come from the feeling that something is missing, and we want whatever it is that we feel is missing from our life. Then we go get it (whatever we wanted) to satisfy that want. Next, we feel good about getting it. But not for long… You are just feeling good about what you got and see your neighbor has a bigger, shinier, stronger, faster, or somehow better thing than you got. And now the stress comes back and around we go in a destructive cycle. This leaves us in a world with no real fulfillment or peace around money. For Jeffry, he has experienced this in his hobby of woodworking. As he began to do more woodworking, he noticed that a friend of his did not use a hand saw, he used a circular saw! Jeff did not have a circular saw. Jeff wanted a circular saw. Jeff went to Sears, and they had circular saws on sale, so he bought one. He brought it home, plugged it in, and put it to work. It made woodworking much more efficient. Jeff loved that circular saw. He even bought an extension cord so he could work all around the shop without installing new outlets.
One day Jeff was at a friend’s house, and the friend had a battery-operated circular saw that was not limited by the reach of an extension cord. It cost three times what Jeff had paid for his first circular saw. He wanted it and his first circular saw seemed so inadequate now. So, Jeff ordered one on Amazon. He got it and it was great… until he saw a circular saw with longer-lasting batteries… So, the result is we find ourselves trapped in a world of not enough and constantly chasing “more.” Before you can create a fun life, you must distinguish your current relationship with money. Do you see the destructive cycle of wealth in your life? What is your circular saw? What is your relationship to money? Is it always trying to get more, fear of failure, or even never enough? Identifying your relationship to money is where to start to have peace of mind around your money. It creates a space where you can have a purpose in life bigger than money and create a fun life with purpose. Jeffry and Carolyn Weldon are financial coaches with over 30 years in the financial services industry. They are partners in Weldon & Weldon Financial Coaching where their purpose in life is to empower families in discovering their true purpose for money by transforming the investing experience, leaving them with freedom, fulfillment, and love. Sign up for their educational events at www.coachweldon.com/events
Click image to register
Nothing’s better than grabbing a blanket, getting cozy and reading a good book. Add a fireplace and I’m one happy zen girl. It’s relaxing and mentally stimulating. I often like to read books that motivate me to do better, be better, so a lot of my choices are based around self love, care and education. However, I can easily get lost in a steamy romance novel, heart racing suspense novel or a keep you guessing mystery novel. Reading to Ranger has been a highlight too. Around five months he really started to engage more with books. Especially those with popout visuals and finger puppets. It’s fascinating to watch him become more attentive. I look forward to those long bedtime routines of story after story. I say that now, but I honestly can’t wait! Check out what I’m reading now, my favorite self care and motivation books, Ranger’s favorite books, plus our favorite books we like to read to him.
Ranger’s Favorite Books
Finger puppet books Taco Tuesday
Baby Shark Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Brown Bear Brown Bear
Pop-up Peekaboo! Baby Dinosaur
Mommy & Daddy’s Favorite Books to Read to Ranger
ABCs of Kindness
Wherever you are my love will find you
I’ve Loved You Since Forever
It’s Ok To Be Different
The World Needs More Purple People
Self care + Motivation Books
Too Blessed to be Stressed
You Are a Badass
“What other people think of you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.” ― Jen Sincero
"They had taught her that family is found, that whether it be blood or circumstance or choice, what binds us does not matter. All that matters is that we are bound."
The Power is Within You “Responsibility is our ability to respond to a situation. We always have a choice.” ― Louise L. Hay
The Blue Day Book
“Everybody has blue days. Oh, what to do, what to do? Who knows what fantastic things are in store just around the corner? Get out there and go for it! Live each day as if it were your last, because one day it will be.”
“Worship doesn’t have to be just in a stained glass building or magnificent cathedral or at a designated hour and location. The true church isn’t an edifice; it’s the people, the worshippers inside.” ― Debora M. Coty,
The Gifts of Imperfection “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”
Game Night Games. I’ve never been a fan of them. I hate to say it, but I can be a sore loser
sometimes and a bragging winner. When Ryan and I were dating, I would get so frustrated because he would always win. So I resisted any chance to play games. Especially scrabble. That one is the hardest for me. However, in my wedding vows, I vowed to be open-minded to more game playing (minus Scrabble because my brain does not operate that way) because I know it’s something Ryan and his family enjoy.
In 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and during our failed and successful IVF transfers, we were stuck at home a lot and started to play games nearly every night after dinner. It was a way to come together, just Ryan and I and/or our inner circle, to have fun, keep the spirits high, and do something other than watching TV. I secretly love the tradition we have started and look forward to playing games with Ranger as he gets older. On the next page are Ryan and I’s favorites.
Yahtzee The shake, score and shout game Nothing is better than throwing those hands up and yelling, “YAHTZEE!!!!!!!” Play with 2 persons + Need a quiet shaker? Add this felt-lined dice cup
Left, Right, Center
Wizard The ultimate game of trump Best with a group, 4+
Dice game for all ages Best with groups
The game of collecting gemstones Go head to head with your partner
How do you stack up? The more the merrier
Taco, cat, goat cheese, pizza Wildly popular hand slapping party game Great for families There’s a holiday edition too.
gnireyal & noihsaf llaF
White Bra Tank
Weave Crossbody Bag
White Slouchy Boots
Stunning Wide Leg Pant
Pleated Wide Legged Trouser
90s Mid Rise Loose Fit Jeans
WIDE LEG PANTS
High Waisted Baggy Jeans
Luka Belt Bag
Calpack Luka Duffel
OVERSIZED BOYFRIEND JACKETS
Brianna Oversized Handkerchief Blazer
Cream Oversized Biker Jacket
Black Oversized Biker Jacket
Infant Fall styling
2 Way Zip Romper (Slate)
Little Bipsy, one of my favorite children's clothing companies that has gender neutral pieces and cute boy choices at an affordable price plus they offer a shopper rewards program and have great sales! SHOP HERE!
Hooded Demin Jacket
Basic Pocket Tee
Pumpkin Spice Crew
Small Biz Shoutout Another favorite small business baby and kids clothes store I love is
Max & Luna
Amazon favorites Neutral Onesies Black and White Crew & Joggers
Pumpkin Baby Chucks Dupe
Fall Colored Onesies
Baby Vans Dupe
Accessories like hats are such an easy way to add some style flare to an outfit. Ranger is finally getting big enough to rock a snapback! We have a few hats from Cash & Co. This “Butter” one is the perfect neutral color to mix & match with so much.
Carhartt Adult Beanie
Carhartt Kid Beanie
Ryan, Ranger and I all got these matching Carhartt Beanies
Red buffalo Check Pom Hat
Fall Nail ArT
I’m a huge supporter of doing things that make you feel good. For me, I love to pamper myself from getting a massage, to getting my lashes done, nails refreshed, a spray tan, and hair care. Taking care and spoiling myself makes me feel good, which causes me to act good, which makes me a better person.
During the start of the coronavirus pandemic, giving up self pampering was hard. Along with many things of course. All for the greater good, but still challenging for many. Everything became more simple. So now being able to go to the salon feels like a luxury.
The hard part about beauty maintenance is the time it takes to get these things done. However, I try to make use of the time as best I can. When getting my nails or hair done, I bring my headphones and listen to an educational podcast, or an audio book, or watch a YouTube video. I’ve brought my computer as well if I’ve needed to get work done or a physical book to get lost in a good story line. When getting my lashes done, I take the opportunity to nap. I tell you after becoming a new mom, catching up on sleep while getting glamorous has never felt so good and efficient.
If you have the means and can find the time, I encourage you to spoil yourself. You deserve it. Over and over again. Treating yourself will only make you a more giving person to treat others. It’s a positive cycle that keeps on giving.
So here’s a look into my favorite self care stuff as well as inspiration for fall nails and hats.
Face +LUX UNFILTERED: Favorite exfoliator, gradual self tanner, conditioning body cream, bronzing facial drops, soothing lip balm
Under Eye Masks
Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel
Hats Staple hat, goes with everything
Favorite Detangling Brush
Ball cap, comes in so many colors Festive Headbands
Loving a western theme, goes great with plaid
Flat Top Wide Brim Hat
Dyson Airwrap This is an investment but worth it to have your own personal blowout anytime
Traveling With a Baby Tips and Tricks
Flying with a Baby
Know the nearest store to stock up on any essentials from diapers, to wipes, a weighted sleep sack, etc. If you’re staying at a friend’s home or renting an Airbnb, you could also buy detergent as laundry adds up real quick with constant spillage, spit up and blowouts. We love the Dreft brand..
In July at four-months-old, Ranger went on his first flight from New Jersey to Texas. I had some serious anxiety leading up to this moment. The fear of Ranger having a full on crying session surrounded by dozens of people rolling their eyes and potentially judging us about our parenting skills.
It’s disappointing that in the world we live in, there’s always that fear of judgment from others. I really had to set this lingering fear aside and told myself if this happened, I would do my very best to soothe my child. To tune out the noise and to be calming and strong for my baby.
Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about that as Ranger handled the flight so well. No crying sessions, just occasional fun playing screams. We did prepare to succeed though so I wanted to share some tips and tricks that helped us stay focused.
Pack according to lists-Check those lists 3x. We ended up forgetting our weighted sleep sack, which we believe affected the quality of Ranger’s sleep. That was a big mistake. We also forgot to pack more diapers, but that’s ok because you can always run out and buy more, which leads to tip
Check your airport to see if there’s a Mamava nursing pod at your terminal. There was one at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, United terminal. I really enjoyed having a clean, private space to nurse Ranger and change him while we waited to board our flight. It was pretty neat because you had to download the Mamava app in order to search your pod which gave you a pass code you had to enter on the keypad to get in. So, I knew it wasn’t overused and more exclusive.
4 We were happy to learn that the diaper bag, breastmilk, car seat and stroller were not considered part of your carry on. Definitely check with your airline/airport though. We felt secure having all of our essentials. We packed extra onesies for Ranger, extra shirts for us, lots of burp cloths, toys for distractions, etc. I also recommend packing a trash bag or dirty laundry bag to separate what’s dirty and what’s clean, rather than mixing them in the same bag. At the time Ranger really loved his tag cloth. He held this for hours, talking to it and eating the colorful tags lol. These sensory spinning toys are also good distractors if you have a window seat or can use waiting in the terminal before your flight.
Lastly, if you were worried like me about being a distraction to others, we purchased 10 x $5 Starbucks gift cards to hand out to people to thank them for their understanding/patience. Since Ranger was so good, we ended up handing them out to the flight attendants who helped us be more comfortable. For example, one lady would wipe down the changing table for us. Between trying to rush and being in a tight space, that was very helpful. She earned that Starbucks gift. Just a thoughtful gesture to say thank you. We also purchased individually wrapped ear plugs but we didn’t have to hand those out.
For my last pieces of advice based on our experience I have three more tips to share:
Have antibacterial wipes easily accessible to wipe down any areas babies could touch. Also have baby friendly wipes nearby to wipe their hands in case they do touch anything questionable.
Nurse/feed at takeoff and landing. If breastfeeding, don’t forget to pack your nursing cover. This tip really helped keep Ranger calm and distracted. It also helps them focus on something else if their ears pop. Ranger actually loved the landing because we’ve noticed he likes to be scared, our little adrenaline junkie. Not sure how I feel about that. As soon as we landed he stopped nursing, smiled big and started laughing.
Understand not everything will go as planned. It’s so easy to put pressure on ourselves as parents. At the end of the day our babies are going to be babies. They are fussy just like we are as adults. They have off days just like we do. We’re emotional humans. Understand the older your baby gets, the more of an adjustment it will be for them to adapt to new environments. For example, Ranger was great on the plane, then cried for four hours when trying to put him down for bed that night. He was not having it. We thought maybe it was a delayed reaction from the elevation, or just being over stimulated. We don’t always have the answers as to what’s bothering our kids, but we can continue to do our best to be patient and to console them. Have fun. While traveling with kids might not be the ideal relaxing trip, it’s just an added adventure. I heard someone say “parenting on vacation is just parenting on location.” I call it blissful chaos. Know it’s going to be a wild ride and roll with the punches.
If you have the means, buy a ticket for your baby so they have their own seat and you have more room. Or you could upgrade to first class. We didn’t go those routes and did just fine. My husband and I traded off holding Ranger. We did book the aisle seat so we could easily stand up and move around with him if we needed to. This was actually helpful because he did have a blowout on the plane and I was able to book it to the bathroom to change him before it got too stinky or messy.
Traveling During A Pandemic + Weaning Off Breastfeeding Tips As a new mom I was also worried about traveling due to the risk of COVID exposure, but I also don’t want to live in a bubble the rest of my life. The goal was to be as safe as possible, responsible and to have confidence that Ranger is protected through my antibodies from breastfeeding. If you are faced with a similar situation, I encourage you to share your concerns with your travel companions. My group all decided we would limit outside exposure leading up to the trip. Below are my top tips for traveling in a pandemic:
a zon y Am m p o Sh
d re s s
The best way to closeout summer was traveling with my mom, sister and best friend to Miami. This was my first trip away from Ranger at six-monthsold. We had been planning this trip since May 2020, which was my sister’s 30th birthday. That trip was cancelled due to the start of the coronavirus pandemic and kept getting postponed due to the COVID-19 risks, me getting pregnant, having Ranger, etc. We all finally agreed after getting vaccinated, it was now or never. I’m so glad we went. We had the absolute best time. Leaving my baby was not easy though. Parts of me wanted to stay because I didn’t want to miss a beat or worried he would forget about me. But other parts of me knew I desperately needed to get away and to feel a little bit of my old self before becoming a mom. It’s a mental and physical break I wanted to reset and recharge before Ryan and I start trying to conceive for baby #2. Parenthood is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s 24/7. It’s beautiful chaos. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but prioritizing a break if you have the means is important.
1. Take COVID tests before and when you reach your destination with your travel group. This definitely offers peace of mind when coming together and staying in close quarters with others. 2. Bring hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes with you to the airport or have them handy if you’re on a road trip. I immediately felt better wiping down my space and sanitizing hands anytime I touched something questionable. Obviously wash hands thoroughly when you can. 3. Wear a mask when indoors or areas where you can’t social distance. I was referred to happymasks.com by my sister-in-law who is a doctor. These masks have 99.9% bacterial and viral filtration without compromising on breathability and comfort. 4. Plan activities outside which allows for better distancing and fresh air. 5. Don’t be afraid to ask service people or strangers you’re in close contact with to wear their mask above their mouth/nose. If you get into a situation where this isn’t possible, you can always remove yourself from the situation or switch plans. Let the people you’re traveling with know you’re uncomfortable. You have a right to protect your space and health. 6. Take a rapid test when you return home before being in a confined space with your loved ones/family. I also scheduled my PCR test at my primary physician’s office to be extra cautious. I wore my mask around my baby until I received all the test results back.
I also started weaning off breastfeeding in early August to stop fully when I left for this trip in early September. A lot of firsts and life transitions in a short period. I learned a lot from this life experience as a new mom, so I thought I’d share with the hopes someone might find this useful. Basically a month out I started dropping one breastfeeding session per week and replaced it with my frozen breast milk by bottle. While I have a pretty good supply, I knew it would go by quickly, so we also tested out a formula to supplement as well. The formula we chose is called Holle. This was based on recommendations from close friends and research for the highest quality formula out there. Here’s the link to our formula. We get the cow’s milk option. Note there are different options for different stages. “Holle is one of the most highly-respected baby formula brands in the world, and this cow's milk-based formula meets the Demeter standard for organic, biodynamic farming, far surpassing the requirements for organic agriculture in the United States.”
Although everyone is different and has different timelines, I recommend weaning off breastfeeding slowly rather than stopping cold turkey. My final nursing session was on a Wednesday night. I felt slightly engorged by Thursday night, pumped for 5 minutes to relieve. On Friday morning I pumped for 3 minutes to relieve the breasts again. On Saturday morning, I woke up in a lot of pain. My breasts felt completely bruised, were full and sore to the touch. I could also feel lumps which freaked me out. This pain lasted about two days and then subsided. So overall it took me five days to adjust/adapt to no pumping. Here are the actions/tools that helped with relief and drying me out. Shoutout to my awesome online community for all these tips and advice. Please keep in mind this worked for me, but may not work for you.
Cabbage leaves in the bra (must be cold) Let sit for 10-15 minutes 2 x per day Take a warm shower and express milk by hand Gently massage out any lumps Taking an antihistamine, Benadryl, or a decongestant, Sudafed Aleve also helped to reduce inflammation and pain Wear tight clothing for support, like a secure sports bra or double up Peppermint oil on breasts
Here are some more helpful resources: https://kellymom.com/ages/weaning/wean-how/weaning_mom/ Overall, I’m so glad I went on this quick 3 day getaway. It was just enough time to reconnect to myself, take a work break, have some adult time kid free, to laugh, eat good food, film Tik Toks, swim in the ocean, dance and go to bed without an alarm clock. I have more memories to savor forever. While the end of a trip can sometimes be sad and bittersweet, I sat on the plane excited to be reunited with my little family, my husband, child and doggies. The hugs, smiles and snuggles brought me right back home, exactly where I wanted to be.
Until Next Season! - ASHLEY LEGG